The legendary Hockenheim circuit staged its first race, a motorcycle race, run over a 12 km unpaved layout


Saturday 28th May 1932

The legendary Hockenheim circuit staged its first race, a motorcycle race, run over a 12 km unpaved layout. It was an anti-clockwise circuit, and it was used until 1937, after which it was remodelled to form the 7.7 km/4.78 mile circuit. The original circuit was almost eight kilometres long and consisted of two long straights with a long “Eastern” corner in the forest and a U-turn inside Hockenheim joining them together. After Jim Clark was killed on 7 April 1968 in a F2 racing accident, two fast chicanes were added and the track was lined with crash barriers in 1970. A small memorial was placed near the first chicane, at the site of his accident. In 1982, another chicane was added at the Ostkurve (east curve), after a driver was killed there in 1980 and the first chicane was made slower as well. The first chicane was reprofiled in 1989, and in 1992 the Ostkurve was reprofiled still further to slow the cars down. Further reprofiling in 1994 led to a track length of 4.220 miles. In the early 2000s, F1 officials demanded the 6.823 km (4.240 mi) track be shortened and threatened to discontinue racing there, due to competition from other tracks such as the EuroSpeedway and sites in Asia.


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